+A -A
#1 erstellt: 11. Apr 2005, 15:07
Hi All,
This weekend was devoted to Polk Audio. Had been to the ProFx showroom at Bangalore. Sadly they just had the Monitor 70 and the LSI (flagship) model available whereas the RTI models were all sold out.

I decided to zero upon the Monitor 70 speakers, price is around 33k. First look, and it was almost stunning !! With grills or without it, it can make even a house under construction look like a fully furnished one (Ha! Ha! Ha!) just joking but actually they are very good looking, with four 6 1/2" drivers and a tweeter, looked like a full range 3 way speaker.

Anyway thats only for looks.....

I had the intentions very clear in my mind, I wanted to compare the Kef Q5 and Q7 with the Monitor 70.
Started off with Monitor 70 and played the good old 'Hotel California'. One thing was clear within a few mins that it could reproduce a wonderful Soundstage and the Stereo seperation was something I havent heard in any of the speakers that I have auditioned in the last 4 months. I could easily spot the Vocals right on the center and the Instruments swaying from left to right very very cleanly. Moreover each and every instrument (that was audible) had its own space and could be easily differentiated throughout the track. Ok on the other side the speakers were bright and somewhat upfront.

I was able to compare them with Kef Q series there were some distinct difference in their characteristic sounds. The Kef were clearly better in the Low freq segment in the sense that the Bass was more tactile. The Q7 oooops!!! were simply wonderful in this area and simply have to be heard to believe. But But But when it comes to mid-bass, the Polk Monitor was the clear winner. I tested them with a couple of Rehman's music (those with good percussions) and finally played Dire Straits, Man !! the Polks were simply amazing with these kind of music where there is a lot of Mid Bass present in the form of Jazz and Rock Drums. Though their upfront nature was always prominent but it rather sounded enjoyble as if all the instruments have opened up infront of you.

The Kef Q5 was somewhat dissapointing as they never opened up and some instruments sounded very feeble.
The Kef Q7 were much better than Q5 but even they didnt represent the some of the mid freq as well as the Polks. When I asked the Profx guy about this, he just said that its the difference between American and British make. According to him the Americans prefered prominent mid-bass whereas the Britsh are inclined towards good low-freq output . As far as the midrange and highs are concerned, the Kefs were warmer sounding whereas the polks were outright.
The Polk RTI series will arrive soon then I think it will be the decission time for me.
In any case the Monitors are new VFM champs IMO.
#2 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 04:52
hi abhi,
yep , I heard the rti in bombay and the LSI 8/9. I think the lsi are really very good. I liked them a lot. I heard the rti 10 and found the tweeter to be a bit too lively for my tastes. Overall the rti was also nice for the price.

#3 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 05:53
Tell me is it the characteristics difference that the Kefs were less expressive of Mid-Bass than the Polks or is it their weakness and inability to do so ? If it is designed that way then its fine otherwise that should be a serious concern for Kef !!! Dont you think so ? Or are they suitable for some particular kind of music only ?
#4 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 06:06
Hi Abhi,

Here you may also be bringing into the equation the difference between 'British' and 'American' sound....
#5 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 06:07
So far my knowledge goes .yes one brand of speaker cannot play all kinds of music to you...it will excel in one genre and take a back seat in the other....most of American speakers are upfront..on your face...how americans like..no wonder they coined the term -'Wretched Excess'. British speakers are made to suit their tastes soft..subtle..warm...but Linn's changed my stereo type thinking they will attack you like an american , brutal and behave as a well dressed gentleman who alighted Rolls to the join Queen for the dinner...and Japanese some how can't be good at both..... ..my opinion..no offences to anybody..correct me if I'm wrong

[Beitrag von SUB_BOSS am 12. Apr 2005, 06:08 bearbeitet]
#6 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 06:18
yes I am talking in the same lines of comparision between British and American, I know that the Americans are bright and upfront but does that mean a british make will not reproduce all the freq band expressively.....
#7 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 06:31
My experience with the KEF Q7 is that it has very good tonal balance without emphasising anything too much.Their dual concentric mid/tweeter arrangement is a "hate it" or "love it" thing. They are very sensitive to partnering equipment. Denon amps/cd players/bright QED cables at the pro-fx showroom are not the way to go.I know people who partner them with good seperates and are very happy with them. I found most polk speakers voiced for the "mid bass thump" sound.But I would say that their LSI series have balanced mids/highs.Bass has the same thumpy feel to it instead of good extension.
#8 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 07:21
Hi SquareWave,
What you call as a mid-bass thump seemed to be a better expression of the frequency to me. In the sense that the Kefs didnt even sound something similar to me in that freq range. The mid-bass was so feeble in the Kefs that it completely removed the magic and charm of mid-bass from the track. The same when played on polk, one could simply be astonished that there was so much inside the track which was not audible in the Kef. There may be a Mid-bass bump in the Polks but then there is certainly an under-bump of the same in the Kefs. IMHO again...
#9 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 07:53

From what I heard, amp/cdp/cables being constant (denon/qed), I would prefer the polk lsi 8/9 any day to any of the kef Q1/3/5/7....thats my opinion only.
The Kef x series sound better than the q. but the x series seems to be very expensive.

About the midbass in the kef being absent, I'm not so sure....but what i dont like about the kefs is the ear fatigue they cause me in 10 minutes of listening. Something about their highs is just not right either, very peircing sometimes.

On the topic of american v/s british...this debate has been on probably from the time commercial loudspeakers came into existance.....:-)
I really dont pay much heed to this American v/s British v/s Canadian v/s Danish V/s Hong Kong stuff :-) I just listen to the speakers, irrespective of their country of origin. But then again there are generalizations like American speakers have dynamics, whilst british are laid back with a slight emphasis on midrange, canadians have flat response, danes dont lie...etc..etc...

Finally, you got to decide what you want to live with.

#10 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 08:24

Just carry your cd's what you normally listen to and see which gives you the satisfaction....it's true to some extent that speakers from particular countries have inbuilt characteristics...foe eg In cars it's Chrysler from US vs BMW from germany vs jaguar from GB vs Lexus from japan....You know what you want among these - A large cast iron american V8 lump or a refined british V12.......but no decision without a test drive.

[Beitrag von SUB_BOSS am 12. Apr 2005, 08:28 bearbeitet]
#11 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 09:13
I have listened only to the polk LSi 15 which is their flagship floorstander with a down firing port.I loved the mids and highs. This could be due to the vifa ring radiator tweeter used in this series. But somehow the bass sounded disjointed from the whole and lacked extension and not at all tuneful. I played the poem of Chinese drums on them and I could not feel the tuneful visceral impact which the kef q7 was able to do. I have not listened to the 8/9.I can't comment on them. I would say both the speakers are good in certain areas.
I heard from a very respected source that the brightness in the highs of Q7 can easily be easily tamed by having the right electronics.
#12 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 09:24
My small addition here.....

If you feel the speakers were too bright look at your CD...is it a original one or a burnt copy..if you are trying to evaluate a system by using burnt CD's - mp3's converted to audio...then no amount of possible variations in components can make the music sound real..Have a good audio Cd as your reference....Normally guys at showrooms use copies of albums which really doen't compliment the original sound...Coz good speakers always show you in a very transparent way how good the recording is or how bad it is.....

This was my first lesson learnt in audition .....of course this advice came from a respectable source and I'm sure all agree to this...should agree...

square wave wrote :

I heard from a very respected source that the brightness in the highs of Q7 can easily be easily tamed by having the right electronics.

I'm tryin the same to tame Klipsch ...but at the same time I don't want to lose it's dynamic sound....

[Beitrag von SUB_BOSS am 12. Apr 2005, 09:25 bearbeitet]
#13 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 09:37
Sub Boss maybe you need to look at valve amps? Prihvi could enlighten us on this. Viren (Lyrita Audio) has sent me his price list and the integrated valve amp 10 rms is 10k. Thats a good price. Maybe that will give you the warmer sound without losing the dynamics.
#14 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 09:43
Sub, I have always kept that in mind. To audition the polks also I had carried my own CDS (not burnt ones). As far as warm vs dynamic or warm + dynamic is concerned, I think it requires an extensive research with all those mix-matching of amp + speakers to finally come to a choice. What about your Marantz PM7200 experiment ? Did you try that ?
#15 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 10:24
PM 7200 has been on list since a long time...will audition one...

Abhi wrote :

As far as warm vs dynamic or warm + dynamic is concerned, I think it requires an extensive research with all those mix-matching of amp + speakers to finally come to a choice.

If you know your choice it's easy to find what you want...
The characteristics of components always reveal some amount of matching or mismatching parameters....So you have to get the ones which closely gel with your speakers and fine tune em....For eg...it's a well known fact that tubes gel with horns...as horns have high efficiency and the little output from tubes will help em sing out ...at the same time the sharpness of horns are reduced to smooth sound by tubes...try rotel and you'll burst your eardrums..So it's not an extensive research...know what you want and you'll get it...after some hoppin around....but thats where the fun lies in - research.n.research...mix n match...hifi discussions over a drink.......will keep an audiophile alive for 100 years..
#16 erstellt: 12. Apr 2005, 16:11
tubes will make the midrange much better..but you might miss the bass thump ! from the tubes I have heard only the frightfully expensive ones give a strong bass !

[Beitrag von Arj am 13. Apr 2005, 05:58 bearbeitet]
#17 erstellt: 13. Apr 2005, 04:46
Yes Sub,
Writing about combos on the basis of their specs and reviews is quite easy but when it comes to buying them, things really starts getting complicated. Given a budget you can find a good combo easily but its very difficult to find the best combo available in the market (thats what you want right !!) and that takes time, patience and efforts. You got to give them all Sub, this final component is going to decide your music atleast for the recent time to come.
#18 erstellt: 13. Apr 2005, 06:08
ya i agree abhi.........but even before auditiong you need to look first how would it gel...like I mentioned Rotels with Klipsch is overkill and warmer amps gel good....so look for the right one in warm category....hope made it clear man.....It's sheer stupidity if someone buys by reading reviews....so gotto do more research....
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